Arm Exercises

Straight-Up Forearms Workout

Stop neglecting half of your arms. Get thicker forearms and a stronger grip with this brutal routine.

forearm exercise
Duration 15 min
Exercises 4
Equipment Yes

You can see them in gyms, hanging out of sports cars, or perched atop armrests as you walk the aisle of a commercial jetliner. they’re the key to possessing an iron grip and a bone-crushing handshake. their size and density help define the masculinity and blue-collar work ethic of a man, yet the forearms are often not directly targeted in many workout regimens. Well, dust off that can of spinach in the back of your kitchen cabinet, because M&F is about to inject some serious forearm action into your program and bring out your inner Popeye.

The forearms serve a number of duties. Not only do they flex and extend the wrists, but perhaps more important, they contract statically (along with the muscles of the hands) to assist in gripping heavy objects. It’s easy to see, then, how a weak pair of forearms could be the limiting factor in possessing elite-level strength. They also round out a top-level physique. If your grip is lacking, so too will be the amount of weight you can use on deadlifts, rows, weighted pullups, and other measures of brute strength. Guess how many successful strongman competitors have a weak grip: zero. Same goes for the top competitors in the IFBB—you got ’em or you can’t win.

The following workout addresses all of the aforementioned duties. Wrist flexion and extension is covered in the first two exercises with curling motions, as is the brachiolradialis muscle, which sits up close to the elbow, via reverse curls. Plate pinch holds are an isometric exercise designed to provide grip strength that will carry over to other gym exercises as well as athletic activities. The finisher is a traditional wrist roller that involves continuous wrist extension with a front deltoid isometric hold.

The Basics

  • Insert this forearm routine at the end of any regularly scheduled workout, or do it on its own on an off day.
  • Keep rest periods brief during the workout—60 seconds max between sets. The routine shouldn’t take more than around 15 minutes to complete.

Forearm Workout

Exercise 1

Barbell Wrist Curl You'll need: Barbell How to
Barbell Wrist Curl thumbnail
3 sets
12 reps
60 sec rest

Exercise 2

Barbell Reverse Curl to Reverse Wrist Curl
exercise image placeholder
3 sets
10-15 reps
60 sec rest

Exercise 3

Plate Pinch Hold How to
Plate Pinch Hold thumbnail
3 sets
20-30 sec reps
60 sec rest

Exercise 4

Wrist Roller How to
exercise image placeholder
2 sets
Full length of chain, up and down reps
60 sec rest